What is Angular (and Why Are We So Excited About It?)

What is Angular (and Why Are We So Excited About It?)

What is Angular (and Why Are We So Excited About It?) 1024 404 Jose DeLavalle

If you’re a software engineer or you do any work in the information technology field, then you’ve probably heard at least one person talk about Angular. If you use it for your own sites or have simply read all about it and are well-versed on the framework, then you might even join the conversation and begin excitedly discussing all of its pros and cons. But if you’ve never heard of it, or you’re not too familiar with Angular, then trying to listen to and engage in that conversation can be pretty complicated. You’ll probably spend most of your time thinking “what even is Angular and why does everyone seem so excited about it?”

What is Angular?

Well, to take the definition directly from Angular themselves, it’s “a platform and framework for building single-page client applications using HTML and TypeScript… It implements core and optional functionality as a set of TypeScript libraries that you import into your apps.”

If you’re a Software Engineer, then that definition probably made a lot of sense and you can skip to the next paragraph. If you’re not a Software Engineer, then you’re likely left thinking “that’s great, but what does that mean?” To put it simply – Angular is a framework that helps software engineers create applications that eliminate the need to do a full refresh of your browser every time you need to switch pages. Because of this, sites built using Angular allow their users to quickly switch to the next part of the site that they would like to view, without having to spend a long time waiting for it to load.

So, besides this obvious benefit of faster loading times, what are the other reasons people seem to love Angular?

What are the Benefits of Angular?

If you go on the Angular website, there’s a plethora of features, benefits, and information about their platform to look at. We could just list all of these and give you links to click on, but that’s not quite as interesting and you could find all of that information yourself by simply searching for them online. Instead, the DataMotion Software and Support Engineers and I who use Angular every day pulled together some of our favorite benefits of the framework. So, let’s get started.

  1. It’s easy to prototype a site

It makes sense that the first benefit listed is related to your starting point when building any site – creating your prototype. The Angular command-line interface (CLI) allows you create a basic Hello World Single Page App in merely seconds. This is possible because the framework makes it easy to boiler plate a new application. Meaning, you can easily reuse code for multiple applications, such as the code which provides the basic framework of your site.

  1. The Angular framework provides an excellent experience for developers

When building a new site, or even modifying an existing one, you’ll probably be making a lot of iterations as you perfect it for your end-users. This could mean that as you fix one thing, something else breaks in the process. Rather than making several changes at once and then finding out that there’s an error, Angular allows you to see the changes that you make instantly, meaning, if you make a mistake, you’ll figure this out right away and you can easily fix it. Ultimately, this saves time and helps us create a better site.

  1. There’s no need to re-invent the wheel

It’s kind of silly to spend a lot of time writing new code for a material design component when someone else has already created one that works. As stated by one of our engineers, one of their favorite things about Angular is the community of open-source projects and libraries that engineers can leverage during development. With Angular, we have the ability to quickly insert basic components and then spend our time focusing on all of the features that make our applications, unique.

  1. It’s easy to set up routing between components

When creating a site, it’s important that your users can easily switch between pages, or “views.” In the past, this would require that the routing mechanism go back to the server to retrieve the next page. However, with Angular the routes are all client side. Meaning, everything is loaded into the Angular app, making the entire user experience fast and responsive. In addition, Angular provides an easy way to set up this routing between components. You can take a look yourself at how easy it is by viewing Angular’s documentation (which we’re all pretty impressed with) and by testing out a live example on their site.

  1. Angular is constantly optimizing and improving their framework

The final benefit of Angular is that it is constantly being improved due to Google developing and maintaining the framework. Any bugs found by the community are fixed in a rapid manner and even better, the updates released for it are largely non-breaking, so those sites looking to upgrade to the newest features can do so with confidence that their existing functionalities will continue to work without error.

Why Do We Care So Much About Angular?

Now that you have a basic background on what Angular is and its benefits, you’re probably wondering why we wanted to write a whole blog on the topic and what these benefits mean for our end users. Well, to put it simply, all of the benefits above result in a better experience for our customers and end-users. Faster loading times, more efficient, modern, and responsive sites are just the tip of the iceberg (not to mention – with sites built on Angular, you don’t need to stare at a white screen every time a page loads, everything is loaded at once).

For our API customers, Angular makes it easy to integrate APIs into your solutions with their built in HttpClient. This HttpClient is an injectable module that simplifies making asynchronous HTTP calls from your client-side Angular app to a backend service (such as DataMotion’s APIs). Combined with their RxJs implementation, it allows for network calls like this to be subscribed to with a modern observable design pattern.

Are you a developer? Stay tuned because we’ll soon be teaching you how you can integrate our API’s for secure message and document exchange into your Angular solution. Until then, you can read up on our API’s by viewing our DataMotion APIs for secure message center page or our DataMotion APIs for Direct Secure Messaging page.